by Tom Luongo, Tom Luongo:
So, the G-7 leaders are in agreement, more war with Russia. Without actually saying exactly that, that was the main takeaway from he meeting of the most feckless leaders in the world.
They also pledged $600 billion they don’t have to fund global infrastructure projects to ‘combat China’s Belt and Road Initiative.’ One wonders where all this money and, in the case of Europe, energy is going to come from to fund all of this.
But the question I’ve had from the beginning of this obvious war of attrition the West wants to impose on Russia is the following: Do we have the stamina, in terms of real production capacity, to cash these checks our leaders are writing?
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A major report from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), one of the oldest military think tanks in the UK emphatically said not in anyone’s wildest dreams. Alex Mercouris of The Duran did an amazing job of breaking down what RUSI thought about NATO’s ability to wage war vs. Russia’s current military tempo, days before this idea caught fire.
In short, the gulf between NATO’s annual munition production and weekly consumption by the UAF is staggeringly vast.
I told you at the outset of this war that Russia was absolutely engaged in a war of attrition against the West, hoping NATO would take the bait of a ground war in Ukraine. I didn’t have numbers to back this up, only the inference because of what I understood about Putin and his previous maneuvers against the West.
What’s obvious to me is the neocons and neoliberals controlling the West think they can turn Ukraine into a quagmire for Putin, but what if Putin thinks he can turn Ukraine into a quagmire for them?
Russia is not capable of conquering Europe. But he doesn’t need to to defeat them. He just needs to create a version of this map:
I knew that Putin wouldn’t commit Russia to this conflict if it couldn’t sustain fighting it. I also knew that the West would LIE OUTRAGEOUSLY about the level of corruption within the Russian society to play on the biases of marginally-informed American armchair generals.
Is the Russian system perfect? No. Is there corruption? Yes. But it’s complete nonsense to think it wouldn’t be uncovered and stripped out of all branches of the Russian military/industrial complex during the initial military gambit. The shifts made by Russia strategically and in terms of personnel have set it up for the long haul, fighting a type of war they are very good at and which the US and NATO left the UAF mostly defenseless against.
Now, with sanctions further hollowing out the US’s and Europe’s economies and the “leadership” of the buffoons that just met in Germany, Russia is in the driver’s seat to grind out a victory in Ukraine and leave the West depleted of weapons if the current situation goes on without a course correction.
The point made by RUSI is that it may not be possible to course correct in time (or ever) in the time frame needed to affect the outcome in Ukraine, absent an unthinkable escalation.
The exhaustion we thought we would put to Russia, is the ultimate form of ‘sanctions boomerang’ on the West. To listen to RUSI tell the tale, we’re the ones without the capacity to fight if the conflict widens.
And yet, to listen to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken or National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, you would think Russia is still on the verge of collapse.
Now the G-7 think they have the power to set a global price cap on crude oil. I’ve told you time and again that Davos really does believe they have some kind of monopsony power over Russia’s exports. They still believe that their thirst for energy, food, industrial metals, fertilizer, etc. gives them power over Putin.
I remind you of this pivotal scene in Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises:
And Putin is the moderate within Russian power circles. There are a hundred Banes waiting in the wings happy to snap the necks of the John Daggetts he no longer needs to sell oil and gas to.
I’ve watched Putin for years. I’ve seen him put pressure on his central bank and the bankers to reform the financial sector. I’ve seen him publicly dress down and reform major industrial oligarchs in metals production. Six plus years of military operations in Syria have given him a lot of data on how to execute a long-term strategy and find the break points of his logistics and operations.
And I’m sure that this war in Ukraine is as much another data gathering exercise for the capabilities of the West as much as it is a stress test on his own internal production systems.